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  1. #1
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    steel cantilever frames

    Short of going the boutique/custom route (e.g. Retrotec), which off-the-shelf bike makers sell decent (CrMo, not hi-ten) steel cantilever ("cruiser" style) frames/bikes?

    For some reason, I've developed a fondness for these (maybe the swoopy, sexy curves ) and a post by the_colorado_kid over in the Mongoose-Schwinn forum has got me thinking of a project bike: a SS commuter/MTB based on a cantilever frame (steel of course).

    I'm digging the '09 Humu, and it looks good enough stock, but wish it had discs.

    Anybody got any ideas about this?
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  2. #2
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    I'm confused. You're looking for a cantilever frame, but you want the bike to have disc brakes? Usually a cantilever frame means a frame that can mount cantilever brakes, but then why would want disc brakes too? I'm missing something.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd
    I'm confused. You're looking for a cantilever frame, but you want the bike to have disc brakes? Usually a cantilever frame means a frame that can mount cantilever brakes, but then why would want disc brakes too? I'm missing something.
    "Cantilever" doesn't pertain to the brakes. It's an old, cruiser style frame where the seatstays continue forward to the downtube, just under the top tube. Check out the link I provided in my original post for a pic of the_colorado_kid's Schwinn Panther as an example.
    Last edited by r1Gel; 01-17-2009 at 08:29 AM.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  4. #4
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    I think you would have a hard time finding a mass produced frame like you describe. Usually people who ride cruisers neither need or want discs. Additionally cruisers aren't exactly high end bikes, so they usually are not made with premium tubing materials. They are usually made with low end aluminum or steel. The Schwinn in the link is pretty sweet, it would be cool if it could have a rear disc also.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rigel
    "Cantilever" doesn't pertain to the brakes. It's an old, cruiser style frame where the seatstays continue forward to the downtube, just under the top tube. Check out the link I provided in my original post for a pic of the_colorado_kid's Schwinn Panther as an example.
    Thanks. Learn something new everyday. Geez, I can't think of anything except Retrotec that fits that description. A lot cruisers have hub brakes, but I can't think of any off the top of my head with discs. Maybe you could put a disc-equipped fork on a cruiser frame and run a mullet.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd
    Thanks. Learn something new everyday. Geez, I can't think of anything except Retrotec that fits that description.
    Exactly. A Classic Retrotec is near the top of mylust list. But it's too spendy for a simple (supposedly low cost) project bike. If i'm not mistaken, a few years back, some major/midsize manufacturer's (KHS, Schwinn, Fuji, etc) made some cool-looking cruisers. just not sure if they were CrMo. Some were alu, some hi-ten. Sadly, what used to be the budget frame material of choice (CrMo) is now usually used only by boutique builders =(

    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd
    A lot cruisers have hub brakes, but I can't think of any off the top of my head with discs. Maybe you could put a disc-equipped fork on a cruiser frame and run a mullet.
    I've considered that. Disc front, v-brake (frame permitting) or roller brake rear. Maybe the '09 Humu with a disc fork ;-)
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rigel
    Maybe the '09 Humu with a disc fork ;-)
    That would be pretty cool. If you build one, you'll just to have to remember to budget in an extra 1 hr or so when you go riding to answer everybody's questions on the trail head.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith
    I think you would have a hard time finding a mass produced frame like you describe. Usually people who ride cruisers neither need or want discs. Additionally cruisers aren't exactly high end bikes, so they usually are not made with premium tubing materials. They are usually made with low end aluminum or steel. The Schwinn in the link is pretty sweet, it would be cool if it could have a rear disc also.
    Yeah, was just wondering if such a beast existed. I guess the only route nowadays is to go boutique.

    Although the Kona Humu seems pretty decent. I've heard of the '05 version being the only model they offered with disc mounts. I just wonder what sort of chromoly they used on those.

    Unfortunately that Schwinn Panther is aluminum (if I'm not mistaken).
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  9. #9
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rigel
    Sadly, what used to be the budget frame material of choice (CrMo) is now usually used only by boutique builders =(
    I think you're getting confused by terminology. Cromo or Chrome Molybdenum and 4130 are the same thing.
    http://stockcarracing.automotive.com...ned/index.html

    Hi-ten, high tensile strength steel, is just strong steel.
    http://www.answers.com/high-tensile%20steel

    I don't want to get into a discussion about steel. So, check out this table. You can do the rest of the research.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4130_steel I hope it helps.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2
    I think you're getting confused by terminology. Cromo or Chrome Molybdenum and 4130 are the same thing.
    http://stockcarracing.automotive.com...ned/index.html

    Hi-ten, high tensile strength steel, is just strong steel.
    http://www.answers.com/high-tensile%20steel

    I don't want to get into a discussion about steel. So, check out this table. You can do the rest of the research.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4130_steel I hope it helps.
    CS2, I don't think regel's that far off. Before aluminum took over the entry and mid-level market, plain old 4130 chromoly was what everything was made out of. I think among road bikes and mountain bikes, the fixie/SS trend has sparked a lot of new steel (chomoly) bicycles from the major OEMs (Raliegh, Masi/Haro, Kona, etc) in the last couple of years. But the cruiser segment is still a really mixed bag. Lots of hi-ten steel and aluminum because I don't think your average cruiser buyer is too picky about frame materials. Who cares how supple or lively the frame is when you're running big fat balloon tires? They just want it to look cool and be cheap. There are a few high-end chromoly models out there. But I've never seen even a high-end cruiser with disc brake fittings.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2
    I think you're getting confused by terminology. Cromo or Chrome Molybdenum and 4130 are the same thing.
    http://stockcarracing.automotive.com...ned/index.html

    Hi-ten, high tensile strength steel, is just strong steel.
    http://www.answers.com/high-tensile%20steel

    I don't want to get into a discussion about steel. So, check out this table. You can do the rest of the research.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4130_steel I hope it helps.
    No, I'm not confused. I'm no engineer or chemist, but I am familiar with the basic difference between high carbon steel (e.g. "CrMo") and lower (actually medium) carbon steel (such as hi-ten).

    Most cruisers are/were either made from low quality (heavy), hi-ten steel, and in more recent times, aluminum, likely with the price of Al going down due to the increased use in other types of bikes (road and MTBs).

    It was just 15 or so years ago that aluminum was a high end material for MTB frames, with most manufacturers having most of their models with CrMo frames. As bolandjd said, there seems to be a resurgence of steel frames, particularly for boutique/custom frame builders, probably because steel is generally easier to work with than Al, and is much cheaper than Ti.

    I'm no expert on the details, but I do know enough to know what I'm talking about.

    All I'm wishing for is that a big (or medium) bike manufacturer would have the guts to market an affordable CrMo steel, disc capable, cantilever frame/bike with MTB geometry (in either 26" or 29" or 650B!). I was hoping that someone, some time in past did make such a beast, and that it would be available second hand for a project bike that I was fantasizing about.

    That said, I wish I was related to francois, and wish that he could've just given me his Retrotec.
    Last edited by r1Gel; 01-19-2009 at 10:44 PM.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

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